DIY Jewelry

Recently I have become really interested in making DIY jewelry. It actually started the summer of 2014. I was in Taipei and looking for something to do on those extremely hot afternoons when you just don’t want to leave your hose because it is like 200 degrees outside. One day I decided to wander around the area behind Taipei Main Station, where there are a lot of DIY/Craft stores. I was actually looking for metal studs to make studded friendship bracelets (where were all the rage last summer), and instead stumbled on a treasure trove of other DIY jewelry supplies. I ended purchasing some studs, a few chains, a chain cutter, some ending clasps and some beads. Unfortunately, last summer I had no idea what I was doing, and absolutely no plan, so I purchased some random things that didn’t match or go together, and gave up a few days later. I brought some of the supplies back to America, figuring I would be able to do something with them somehow, and then ended up just sitting there. Fast Forward to about a week ago. I was checking out some articles on Yahoo! Makers, something I like to browse through every once in a while, and I noticed a video posted about making your own DIY Hand Chains. I’ve actually always wanted to have a hand chain, but I knew that if I bought one, I would end up wearing it once, and then it would be a complete waste of money, so I never did. After watching the video, I was really inspired to make my own. I had pretty much all the materials that I needed, a free afternoon, so I figured I would give it a shot. This way, if I succeed, I have a cheap hand chain that I can try wearing, and if I fail, then so be it. I will admit that before I started, I did run to the nearest Hobby Lobby, to pick up a few things.

Materials Needed:
– Silver Jewelry Chain (similar)
– One set of Toggle Clasps (or any clasp that you want to use to secure your hand chain)
– Two silver heart shaped connectors (similar)
– One Connector Charm of your choice. I got mine from an old bracelet that I took apart.
– Six 8mm silver open jump rings
– Round Nose Jewelry Pliers
– Flat Nose Pliers (You do not necessarily need these, but they do make opening jump rings easier)
Side Cutter Pliers (if your chain requires cutting. Some chains can be opened using your Round Nose Jewelry Pliers)

Steps:
1. Cutting your chains – Making your own DIY Hand Chain is actually really simple. First you need to measure and cut your chain. The two major pieces you need to cut are a piece that will fit around whichever finger you want the hand chain on, and your wrist. Simply wrap the chain around your finger ( I plan on wearing mine on my middle finger) and use your Round Nose Pliers or Side Cutter Pliers to either cut or open the chain to the desired length. Do the same for the chain that will go around your wrist. Set those aside for now.

2. Making your Charm Chain – Next you will need your two heart shape connectors and your connector charm. You will also need your jump rings. To determine which size jump ring to use, I like to look at the thickness of the chain or charm to decide. Find the opening in your jump ring and pick up the jump ring on one side of the opening with you flat nose pliers.Take your round nose jewelry pliers and grab on to the other side of the jump ring directly across from your flat nose pliers. Twist the two pliers in opposite directions to open your jump ring. Once your jump ring is open, simply slide one of the heart shaped connectors and your charm into the jump ring. Then close the jump ring by grasping both side of the jump ring and twisting them back in place. Do the same with the other side of your charm connector and your other heart shaped connector. Set those over to one side for now.

3. Attaching the Toggle Clasp – Now take the chain that you cut in the first step, the one meant for your wrist, and your toggle clasp. Attach the circle side of the toggle clasp to one end of the chain using a jump ring (using the same mentioned above), and the bar to the other end of the chain using another jump ring.

4. Now you will be connecting your wrist chain to the charm chain you made in step 2. Fold your wrist chain in half to determine where the middle of the chain is located. Once you have located the middle, open up another jump chain and connect it to the middle of your wrist jump. Attach the jump chain one side of the charms that you made in step 2.

5. Your fifth and final step is to attach your ring chain and you will be complete. The attach the ring chain, open your last jump ring and slide one end of your ring chain into the jump ring. Now slide the other end of your charm chain into this same jump ring. Finally, slide the other end of your ring chain into this jump ring  and close your jump ring with your pliers.

And you are done!! To wear, simply slide the ring chain onto your finger, position the charm chain so that it lies flat against the back of your hand, and secure the bracelet with your toggle clasp.

i hope you enjoy making your DIY hand chain as much as I enjoyed making and writing about mine. Please comment below and let me know if my directions were easy to follow, or post a picture of your own DIY hand chain! Thanks!

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